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Infertility/Fertility/High progesterone levels


Hi Doctor! :)

I have a question for you that may be a quick one, but I feel I need to give some background info to go with it.

I am currently on round of 2 of clomid because I am irregular and I barely ever  ovulate. In the past 4 years I have ovulated 5 times that I know of and got pregnant each of those times.  Only one ending in the orthogonal my beautiful daughter.

Round one of clomid at 50mg showed a day 24 progesterone level of 15.3. I didn't ovulate AND I didn't get a menstrual cycle, I was given metaform to get it to start and it didn't start. My OB told me to start another round of clomid at 100mg anyway even without a period.

So I did and I actually got positive opks on day 21 and then 5 days later my progesterone level was 286!!!  The nurse at my OBs office said that number is so high she wouldn't be surprised if I was pregnant. On 10DPO I went for a beta and it was negative. But she still wants me to retest in another week.

My two questions are
1. What is the chance of me a gully conceiving when I didn't have a menstrual cycle to clean out my uterus
2. Do high levels of progesterone really mean I could be pregnant? Or is she getting my hopes up for nothin?? What could cause me to have such high levels of progesterone? Multiple eggs?

Thanks soooooo much for your help!! I am feeling lost confused and desperate!!!!

Hello Katie from Canada,

The reason that a woman doesn't have a period when she is not ovulating is because she doesn't develop an endometrial lining and therefore there is nothing to shed.  So no "cleaning" is required.  You certainly could get pregnant in an ovulatory cycle because the lining is built up anew each cycle.

It is a possibility that the elevated level of progesterone could mean there is a pregnancy present but the gold standard to determine this is still the bHCG blood test.  You can't draw any conclusions until that test is done.  Anything that produced progesterone, such as a cyst or tumor, could also cause an elevated level.  At this point there is no way to know for sure.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program

Monterey, California, U.S.A.

for additional information check out my blog at check me out on twitter with me at @montereybayivf and facebook @montereybayivf.  Skype and internet comprehensive consultations now available via my website for those who want a more extensive evaluation that this site can accommodate


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Edward Joseph Ramirez, MD, FACOG


I am a specialist in infertility and advanced gynecological care. I can answer questions about infertility, gynecology related ills, menopause...virtually anything that affects women's health. PLEASE tell me where you are writing from as I am always interested.


I have been practicing as an Ob/Gyn and Infertility Specialist for over 23 years. Gynecology, advanced laparoscopic surgery, basic infertility, IUI's, IVF, reproductive surgery, and ovulation induction are all areas of my expertise. I am Board Certified. I have been doing In Vitro Fertilization in my clinic for 19 years.

American College of OB/GYN, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Fellow of The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists,Resolve-National Chapter, Open Path - Northern California, Board of Directors Monterey Medical Society

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wall Street Journal, Monterey Herald, SERMO, Women's Health and Fertility Blog

Medical Degree from Stanford University, Residency at Tripler Army Medical Center, Reproductive Training at Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco

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